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On a warm D.C. afternoon, an even warmer homecoming took over a public high school in Northwest.
Duke Ellington School of the Arts teemed with excited students as alumnus Dave Chappelle returned to the school on Friday to receive the key to the city and give a gift of his own. Chappelle graduated in 1991 and went on to become a successful comedian and actor. “The key to the city is the highest honor an individual can receive from our nation’s capital and I am very stingy with them,” said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser when she bestowed the honor.
In the auditorium of the newly built, state-of-the-art school, Bowser praised Chappelle for his commitment to the District and his many visits to his alma mater over the years. She describes the entertainer as a vocal supporter of D.C. statehood and a defender of D.C. schools. “He helped D.C. Public Schools trend at the Emmy Awards, all across the world,” Bowser said.
Chappelle took to the stage to the applause of Ellington students and shared words of encouragement and life lessons that may perhaps help them in their future careers. “Right now, you guys are making your future and this is a very important time in your life,” he said. “And you guys got to be kind to each other and you guys have to help each other get through these times, so you’ll be successful.”